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The latest versions of Mac OS allow you to move files directly from your Mac to iCloud, these files can then be opened on any other Mac or iOS device set up with the same iCloud account. This is extremely useful if you want to quickly move a file, but don’t want to copy it manually or with a USB stick, especially if you want text documents that are lightweight and can be easily sent across the cloud.
It’s important to remember that by moving a file to iCloud Drive, you upload it to iCloud Drive from the Mac and then delete it from the local Mac. Hence, it moves the file to iCloud instead of copying it. You can also copy files to iCloud if needed, but it’s a different process.
How to Move files to iCloud from Mac OS X Finder the easy way
The easiest way, of course, is to just drag and drop a file into the iCloud Drive window of Mac OS X Finder, which will move the file to iCloud Drive (no copying, an obvious difference).
- Open a Finder window in Mac OS
- Select “iCloud Drive” in the sidebar
- Drag a file to the correct iCloud Drive folder to move it (again, this doesn’t copy, it moves it from the local storage to iCloud)
But not all versions of Mac OS are High Sierra, Sierra, Yosemite and El Capitan with direct access to iCloud Drive.
Not all apps and not all versions of Mac OS X support the feature anyway, so instead of just showing you how to do it with the Mac Finder in modern versions of Mac OS, we will also see how to move files to iCloud with all apps equipped with iCloud. For this example we’ll be using TextEdit, but you could use Pages, Preview, Numbers, etc. With older versions of OS X, you can still move files to iCloud, but you do it through an application instead. However, that application approach works in modern MacOS and OS X versions as well, but for previous versions, it’s the only way to move items to iCloud.
Moving files to iCloud Drive from an application in Mac OS X
You can also move files to iCloud Drive via applications.
- Click on the file name in the title bar to open the contextual submenu and choose “Move to iCloud”
- Confirm the move from your hard drive to iCloud by clicking “Move Document”
Of course, some apps now choose iCloud as the default storage location, a setting that can be reverted to local storage if you don’t like it. Whether that is enabled or not, you can still move current local documents to the cloud and the above method is the easiest way to do it. However, you can also open the “File” menu and select “Move to …” and choose iCloud as the destination.
Assuming you are online, it will be sent to iCloud immediately. You can check if the document is present by looking at the “Open” menu in apps that support iCloud storage, which by default shows you the iCloud files list of items compatible with that app.
Once the file is in iCloud, you can access it from any other location configured with the same iCloud account. Any changes made to the document will also apply to all other locations where you use the file, so you can quickly make a change on the go with your iPad and it will be the same when you home to your Mac.
Not all apps support iCloud storage feature but with how integrated iCloud is becoming for iOS and Mac OS X, you can bet that the list of supported apps will only grow.
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